This fall, the crusty old recently-knighted golden-voiced legend Van Morrison will follow up 2015’s Duets with a new studio album, his 37th. The new album is called Roll With The Punches, and it combines new songs that Morrison wrote with covers of blues classics from people like Bo Diddley, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Little Walter, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Morrison recorded the album with fellow veterans like Jeff Beck and Chris Farlowe helping him out. And the first single is Morrison’s new version of Sam Cooke’s 1962 classic “Bring It On Home To Me.” Over the years, people like the Animals, Rod Stewart, and Otis Redding and Carla Thomas have covered the song. So has Morrison himself; he did it on the 1974 double live album It’s Too Late To Stop Now. Morrison’s new version is a gorgeous stretched-out six-minute blues vamp. Below, listen to the song and read what Morrison has to say about the album.
In a press release, Morrison says:
From a very early age, I connected with the blues. The thing about the blues is you don’t dissect it — you just do it. I’ve never over-analyzed what I do; I just do it. Music has to be about just doing it and that’s the way the blues works–it’s an attitude. I was lucky to have met people who were the real thing — people like John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Witherspoon, Bo Diddley, Little Walter & Mose Allison. I got to hang out with them and absorb what they did. They were people with no ego whatsoever and they helped me learn a lot.
The songs on Roll With The Punches — whether I’ve written them or not — they’re performance oriented. Each song is like a story and I’m performing that story. That’s been forgotten over years because people over-analyse things. I was a performer before I started writing songs and I’ve always felt like that’s what I do.
Roll With The Punches is out 9/22 on Exile/Caroline.